album by Kendrick Lamar

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Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 2, 2011 (2011-07-02)
StudioTop Dawg, Carson, California
GenreConscious hip hop
Kendrick Lamar chronology
Overly Dedicated
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Singles from Section.80
  1. "HiiiPoWeR"
    Released: April 12, 2011[1]

Section.80 is the debut studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on July 2, 2011, through Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). The concept album features lyrical themes delivered by Lamar such as the 1980s crack epidemic, racism and medication tolerance. The album's lead single, "HiiiPoWeR" was released on April 12, 2011.

The album features guest appearances from GLC, Colin Munroe, Ashtrobot, BJ the Chicago Kid, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and vocals from late singer-songwriter Alori Joh. The production was mainly handled by TDE in-house producers from production group Digi+Phonics, as well as THC, Tommy Black, Wyldfyer, Terrace Martin and J. Cole.

Section.80 received generally positive reviews from critics and debuted at number 113 on the US Billboard 200. As of February 2014, Section.80 sold 130,000 copies domestically. In April 2017, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).


Section.80 is Kendrick Lamar's first studio release, followed by the release of five of his mixtapes and his first extended-play (EP). Lamar began working on the album from around January 2011.[2] He recorded the album at Top Dawg Studios in Carson, California,[2] and wrote most of it in his mother's kitchen and tour bus.[2][3] While recording the album he wished for it to be "as organic as possible,"[4] at times leaving songs unfinished for extended periods of time.[4] Lamar felt compelled to create the album after seeing a friend of his go to jail for twenty-five years and experiencing the pain of such an event.[4] He also stated that he:

Wrote #Section80 because I was ordered to do so... I got a visit from Lesane Parish Crooks. Research his name. I remember being asleep. His image said "Don't let me die". I was paranoid. I said "why"? He said "because you the....."[5]

Music and lyrics

Section.80 is a concept album that involves the lives of Tammy and Keisha as it explains the personal hardships in their lives. "Tammy's Song (Her Evils)" revolves around two girls cheating on their boyfriends after discovering they were unfaithful, and eventually sleeping with each other because they can't trust men. "Keisha's Song (Her Pain)" is about a prostitute who seeks comfort and control, only to her demise.

Lamar has stated that he created the album to discuss his generation.[4] He dwells on a variety of subjects, such as referencing Ronald Reagan and discussing how the crack epidemic occurred in the 80s. He explains how this is part of the reason drugs are popular for his Generation (e.g. drug dealing and drug addicts.) "A.D.H.D" addresses "Getting fucked up, going to parties, and just being carefree."[4] "Kush & Corinthians" notes that justice and morals are rarely cut and dried.[6] The final song and lead single for Section.80 was the song "HiiiPoWeR", the concept of which was to further explain the "HiiiPoWeR" movement promoted by Lamar and his TDE labelmates.[7] The song came from Lamar's interactions with fellow rapper J. Cole and TDE president Punch.[2]

The song "Ronald Reagan Era" features uncredited vocal recordings by RZA, which Kendrick mentions in an Interview with Complex in 2011 were orchestrated by DJ Fricktion from London, who at the time was working with RZA on various records.[2]

According to Lamar in a 2011 interview, music videos for "The Spiteful Chant", "Ronald Reagan Era" and "Keisha's Song", are to be made.[4]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Beats Per Minute90%[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB[11]
MSN Music (Expert Witness)B+[13]
Tom Hull – on the WebB+ ((2-star Honorable Mention)(2-star Honorable Mention))[17]

Section.80 was met with generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 80, based on 11 reviews.[8]

Andres Tardio of HipHopDX wrote that Lamar "may have been searching for answers, but that journey allowed him to find out of this year's most outstanding albums with Section.80."[12] Tom Breihan of Pitchfork believed that, "self-serious flaws and all, Section.80 still stands as a powerful document of a tremendously promising young guy figuring out his voice."[14] In the opinion of XXL journalist Adam Fleischer, the record reveals "its author's brain is neither lost nor useless, as he weaves together carefully constructed thoughts before spewing raps on each of the project's 16 tracks, ensuring nothing is disposable or without purpose."[18] David Amidon from PopMatters compared Lamar to an Ice Cube early in his career, as "he's only telling us what he sees, and while he might not offer solutions as often as [Ice Cube] did, he's certainly able to paint us vivid a picture."[15] Tom Hull said Lamar "runs a song about 'niggas and ho's' so far into the ground he can raise a flagpole in top of it, but also recalls the evils of the Reagan Era, which is pretty good for a guy who was just born as Iran-Contra piled up."[17]

Pitchfork placed the album at number 45 on its list of the "Top 50 albums of 2011".[19] Complex named the album the 7th best album of 2011.[20] In honor of Section.80's fifth anniversary, Forbes columnist Ogden Payne wrote an article explaining how the album had propelled Lamar into "hip-hop royalty", deeming it "the genesis to Kendrick Lamar successfully balancing social commentary with mass appeal, while simultaneously laying the foundation for his label as King Kendrick".[21] NME placed the album at number three on their list of "101 Albums To Hear Before You Die" in 2014.[22]

Commercial performance

Section.80 sold 5,000 copies in the United States, based upon digital downloads within less than a week, debuting at number 113 on the US Billboard 200, with minimal mainstream media promotion and coverage. Within a two-week period, the album sold a total of 9,000 copies in the United States.[23][24][25] As of February 2014, Section.80 has sold 130,000 copies domestically.[26] On April 14, 2017, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 500,000 units.[27]

Track listing

Songwriting credits adapted from BMI and ASCAP.[28][29]

Section.80 track listing
1."Fuck Your Ethnicity"THC3:44
2."Hol' Up"
4."No Make-Up (Her Vice)" (featuring Colin Munroe)
  • Duckworth
  • Spears
  • Colin Munroe
5."Tammy's Song (Her Evils)"
6."Chapter Six"Tommy Black2:41
7."Ronald Reagan Era (His Evils)"
Tae Beast3:36
8."Poe Mans Dreams (His Vice)" (featuring GLC)
Willie B4:21
9."The Spiteful Chant" (featuring Schoolboy Q)
  • Duckworth
  • Spears
10."Chapter Ten"
  • Duckworth
  • Riera
  • Morgan
11."Keisha's Song (Her Pain)" (featuring Ashtrobot)
  • Duckworth
  • Perkins
Tae Beast3:47
  • Willie B
  • Sounwave[a]
13."Kush & Corinthians (His Pain)" (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
14."Blow My High (Members Only)"Tommy Black3:35
15."Ab-Soul's Outro" (featuring Ab-Soul)Martin5:50
J. Cole4:39
Total length:59:44


  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • "A.D.H.D" contains additional vocals from Ab-Soul
  • "HiiiPoWer" contains additional vocals from Alori Joh


Credits for Section.80 adapted from AllMusic.[30]



Certifications for Section.80
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "HiiiPoWer – Single by Kendrick Lamar". iTunes Store. April 12, 2011. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e Ahmed, Insanul; Michels, Eric (August 1, 2011). "Interview: Kendrick Lamar Talks "Section.80," Major Labels, & Working With Dr. Dre". Complex. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  3. ^ "Kendrick Lamar". Interview Magazine. July 12, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ramirez, Erika (September 2, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar Talks 'Section.80,' New Album and Upcoming Videos". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  5. ^ "Kendrick Lamar 'HiiiPOWER' OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO". YouTube. May 24, 2011. Archived from the original on April 21, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  6. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Releases 'Ronald Reagan Era', Fans Buzzing". MTV. June 20, 2011. Archived from the original on September 18, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  7. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Speaks On The Meaning Behind "HiiiPoWeR," Working With J. Cole". July 1, 2010. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for Section.80 by Kendrick Lamar". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  9. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Section.80 – Kendrick Lemar". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  10. ^ McMullen, Chase (July 12, 2011). "Album Review: Kendrick Lamar – Section.80". Beats Per Minute. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  11. ^ Anderson, Kyle; Maerz, Melissa; Wood, Mikael; Wete, Brad (July 29, 2011). "Albums: Aug. 5, 2011". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Tardio, Andres (July 6, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar – Section.80". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 27, 2012). "Ab-Soul/Kendrick Lamar". MSN Music. Archived from the original on March 17, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (July 21, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar: Section.80". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Amidon, David (August 16, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar: Section.80". PopMatters. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  16. ^ Baber, Mike (July 19, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar :: Section.80". RapReviews. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  17. ^ a b Hull, Tom (September 6, 2011). "Rhapsody Streamnotes". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Fleischer, Adam (July 5, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar, Section.80". XXL. Archived from the original on August 20, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  19. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 50 Albums of 2011". Pitchfork. December 15, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  20. ^ "The 25 Best Albums of 2011". Complex. December 19, 2011. Archived from the original on April 2, 2016.
  21. ^ Payne, Ogden (July 2, 2016). "How Kendrick Lamar's 'Section.80' Catapulted Him Into Hip-Hop Royalty". Forbes. Archived from the original on July 3, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "101 Albums To Hear Before You Die". NME. May 7, 2014. Archived from the original on May 11, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  23. ^ "Album Charts: Beyonce Earns Fourth #1 Album With '4', Big Sean Debuts At #3". July 7, 2011. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  24. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 7/3/2011". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  25. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 7/10/2011". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  26. ^ "Top Dawg's Kendrick Lamar & ScHoolboy Q Cover Story: Enter the House of Pain". Billboard. February 28, 2014. Archived from the original on February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  27. ^ a b "American album certifications – Kendrick Lamar – Section.80". Recording Industry Association of America.
  28. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". BMI. Select "TITLE", type "Song" in the search engine, and click "Search". Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  29. ^ "ACE Repertory". ASCAP. Select "TITLE", type "Song" in the search engine, and click "Search". Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  30. ^ "Section.80 – Kendrick Lamar". AllMusic. Credits. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  31. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  32. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  33. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved July 29, 2020.

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Section.80